Chapter 8 Adriano and the Visitor

Adriano Bastida-Ray was starting be become a household name around Misty Creek. He was the Man Who Could Do Everything. A gardener, a fisherman, an outstanding father, unbeatable at chess or video games, a rising star in the medical community, and he could even play guitar. Which is, in fact, what he was doing one night at the bar when a young man began to suffer some sort of attack.

“A doctor!” the man gasped, wild-eyed. “I need a doctor!” Luckily for him, Adriano was there. He dropped his guitar and rushed to the man’s aid. Luckily, there was nothing seriously wrong – only a mild asthma attack, made worse by panic. But still, everyone applauded Adriano for coming to the rescue.

Bas 108 Date in the Bar Bas 109 The Patient Bas 110

What the citizens of Misty Creek, and in fact, even his wife, Lily, did not know, was that Adriano had a deep, dark secret. He himself liked to forget about his secret. He had shoved it to the far recesses of his mind, until one night, when his cell phone rang. The voice on the other end made him shiver.Bas 116 Busy Busy Life

“I’m coming for you tonight,” said the strange, unearthly voice.

Late that night, when the neighborhood was fast asleep, Adriano saw the gleaming lights of the ship as it descended from the skies and landed in front of his house. He hurried downstairs before his visitor could ring the doorbell and expose his secret to his family.

“Hello, Mother,” Adriano said to the visitor. “You shouldn’t have come.” He and his mother spent the next two hours talking.

“I want you to return home with me tonight,” said his mother. “To your true home, Adriano.” She pointed up to the stars.

“I will never go back there,” said Adriano angrily. “My home is here, with Lily and our kids. I am human, like my father. You should not have come.”

  Bas 119 The Visitor Bas 119

Bas 120

Bas 121

“Return with me tonight, to your true home,” said the Visitor.
“No, this is my true home now,” said Adriano.

Adriano’s mother suddenly looked very old and very sad, at least for an extra-terrestrial. She kissed him on the cheek, then returned to her spaceship and flew off into the night.

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Chapter 7 Romance After Kids


Bas 82 Potty Training

In spite of their busy family life, Adriano and Lily often made time to be together. They loved to take overnight trips together, just the two of them, every now and then. They went out for dates around the town. Their favorite date place was The Exploding Dragon, an Asian-themed bistro, bar, nightclub, and mini-casino.  Bas 69Bas 68 Dates After Kids

They also loved the mediterranean restaurant near the farmer’s market – especially the romantic hot tub in the garden.Bas 80 Bas 81

Other times, the couple enjoyed taking long drives around the countryside. Luckily, their car was an eco-friendly, fuel-efficient, next-generation hybrid.  Bas 83 Long Drives in the Car

And for those times when they simply could not get away from it all, Adriano and Lily carved out creative ways to spend time together, just enjoying one another’s company.

Bas 100 Watching the Rain

Adriano and Lily sit and talk in the rain

Bas 100 Rainy Days

Chapter 6 The Busy Busy Busy Life

Bas 62 Michael

Michael Bastida-Ray

With Adriano’s job at the hospital, Lily’s job at the library, a vegetable garden, two young children (and one very playful dog), life in the Bastida-Ray household was often very, very busy, and occasionally chaotic.

Bas 58Bas 65 The NurseryBas 104 Violeta

Bas 105 Sofia and Violeta

Teaching Sofia to talk






Bas 94 Caring for KidsBas 83 Sofia Toddler Bas 97



And then, just when they were sure that life could not feel more hectic, Lily became pregnant again. Soon afterward, they welcomed their third child, Violeta, into the world.

Bas 93 Pregnancy 3

Bas 99 Listening  Bas 98 Pregnancy 3

Chapter 5 Life Together in the Country

Bas47 Country Life Adriano and Lily had a vegetable garden. They grew many types of fruits and vegetables. It was a lot of hard work to maintain, especially since the climate in Misty Creek was often cool and wet. Adriano, who was studying to become a doctor, often did not have the time to work in the garden. And so, every day when Lily came home from her job at the library, she spent time weeding and fertilizing and caring for the plants, through every type of weather.

Bas 113 Gardening Bas 108 GardeningBas 56Bas 61 Gardening

Their back garden also had a small fishing pond, where Adriano liked to catch fish from time to time. They often ate fresh-caught fish and foods cooked with their own homegrown produce.  Bas 70 Fishing in the Backyard PondBas 55

Bas 59 Farmers Market

Adriano negotiating prices at the farmers’ market

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Adriano and Lily at the local farmers’ market while Lily is pregnant.

And every weekend, rain or shine, they took their fresh foods to the local farmers’ market, to sell to the neighbors. That is, until their first son, Michael, was born. Suddenly, the Bastida-Ray Family became busy raising a different type of garden. Soon after Michael’s birth, Lily became pregnant again. Months later, their daughter, Sofia, was born.

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Bas 63 Sofia

Sofia joins the family

Bas 57

Chapter 4 The Unexpected Proposal

It was inevitable that Lily and Adriano would fall deeply in love. And it was no surprise to anyone that they finally became engaged to be married. The only surprising thing was the proposal itself. Bas33 Bas34


“Adriano, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. There is no one in the universe like you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”



It seemed as though everyone in town came to the wedding. It was held at First Avenue Christian Church, and everyone agreed later that it was the loveliest wedding that had ever been held there (except for the Flores family, who were very rich and had flowers hanging from every possible surface).

Bas38 Wedding     Bas39 wedding

Bas40 perfectBas42 Wedding DanceBas41

And so the couple became known as Adriano and Lily Bastida-Ray. And their dog, Jimi, of course. Adriano and Jimi moved into Lily’s little farmhouse, and the couple began their lives together.

Bas43Bas44 Bas 45

Chapter 3 Adriano and Lily


Bas19 They MeetAdriano and Lily did not meet through a dating service. They met because one day, while out for a jog in the park, Lily lost her wallet. Adriano, who was playing frisbee in the same park with his dog, Jimi, stumbled upon the wallet and decided to return it to Lily personally. It was strange – neither Lily nor Adriano had ever believed in things like fate or love at first sight. But from the moment they met, both sensed that there was something…special. Bas20

They hit it off right away, conversing easily about the things they both liked best. When Adriano finally asked her if she would go out on a date with him, Lily eagerly accepted. Bas27Bas28  Bas26


“I really like you.”
“I really like you, too.”

Their first date went so well, that they soon went out on a second. And a third. And many more dates over the next year.

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“I am falling in love with you, Lily Ray.”

Chapter 2 Meet Lily Ray

Bas12 Lily Ray's Home Lily Ray lived a very quiet life in an old country cottage she inherited from her grandmother. It was a charming old house, surrounded by trees, with a small vegetable garden. Lily loved her neighborhood, which was tranquil and safe, with very nice neighbors.

Bas15a Lily Halloween

Bas15b Lily Halloween 2

Bas13 Lily SleepsBas13b Lily Reads

Bas16 Lily Internet Dating

Lily scans the internet profile of other singles in her neighborhood

But as peaceful as Lily’s life may have seemed, she did did not feel content. Lily was tired of spending day after day alone. She read alone, she worked in her garden and went for long walks alone, and she slept alone during the long, cold winter nights. One day, Lily worked up the courage to put her profile on a local internet dating website.

To her surprise, she soon began to receive offers from a number of eligible bachelors who were interested in dating her. She began to attend parties and dates, and tried very hard to find a man with whom she could connect. Unfortunately, the dating world was filled with disappointments. She just couldn’t imagine being with any of the men she met.

Bas18 Bad Dates

“Hi, my name is Ferdinand. I hate the outdoors and basically live in my basement, eating pizza and playing video games. Oh, and I’m unemployed.”

Bas14 Lily Dasting

“Hello, my name is Quentin. I love to talk all about me. Me me me me me. What do you think about me? I know, I’m so great.”

Bas14c Bas14b